Stubai Valley is located in Tyrol, in the Austrian Alps. As beautiful as its more famous siblings, such as the French and Italian Alps, Stubai Valley is a 35 kilometers (22 mi.) long picturesque set of small villages and towns, with mountains reaching 3,000 meters peaks. It’s a popular ski resort in winter, with five main locations: Neustift, Fulpmes, Telfes, Schönberg and Mieders. But if you think a ski resort should only be visited in winter, here’s why you should visit Stubai Valley in the summer.
Hiking in Stubai
There is an almost limitless network of trails and walks in Stubaital. No matter where you are staying, you are likely to find trails nearby, with all levels of difficulty. Trails are usually well signed and maintained. Maps can be found at hotels and tourist information centers.
Paragliding or hang-gliding
Paragliding or hang-gliding tandem flights can be arranged at seven flight centers through out the valley. A tandem flight is one where licensed pilots take a passenger with them. Or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you may choose to take a beginners course, such as the one offered by Human Eagle Air Academy, which can be done in about a week, weather permitting. To check prices and requirements for tandem flights or courses, please contact local flight centers. Booking in advance may be necessary.
Enjoy the local cuisine
There is a wide range of food choices in the area, and most restaurants have english menus to make it easier. Here are some of the local dishes you may want to try:
- Käsespätzle: also called cheese noodles, käsespätzle are small pasta dumplings served with cheese and caramelized onions;
- Wiener Schnitzel: a thin veal cutlet covered in flour and bread crumbs and deep fried;
- Kaiserschmarrn: scrambled pancakes served with fruit preserve;
- Südtiroler Spinatknödel: spinach dumplings with brown butter and parmesan;
- Tiroler Schlutzkrapfen: stuffed pasta similar to pierogi or ravioli, served with brown butter and parmesan.
There are many other delicious local dishes to be tasted that may be found at most restaurants, but if you wish to eat something more familiar, many establishments also offer burgers and pizzas.
Visit the ice cave at the Stubai Glacier
Stubai Glacier Ice Grotto is located at a short hike away from the Eisgrat Mountain Station on the Stubai Glacier. The Grotto is a 200 meters (nearly 700 ft) long tour through a cave at almost 3,000 meters (nearly 10000ft) of altitude. It contains many informative signs, colorful lights and an ice throne. Even during the summer, a warm clothes and sturdy boots are recommended.
Go for a Moon walk
On full Moon nights, during summer months, Moon walks enter the calendar of events. The walk takes place on trails by the river illuminated by gas lamps and fires. Artistic presentations take place through out the trail and at the end of the walk, there usually is a small festival with food and drinks for sale. Check the calendar of events at your hotel for information on dates during your visit.
Practice Yoga at the top of a mountain
Yoga workshops are available indoor and outdoor in Stubai. During the summer months, outdoor yoga events are available at different locations, including high up in the mountains, where you can enjoy the fresh air as well as a great view. Check the events calendar when planning your visit to see when it’s available.
The Ruetz River is 37 kilometers (23 mi.) long, flowing from the glacier area of the Stubaital. Rafting trips run three times daily in this river, for a length of 6 kilometers (nearly 4 mi.) taking up to eight people at a time. You must be at least 16 years old, be able to swim and be in physical conditions to participate. The price of the tour includes the equipment, safety gear and transfer.
Have a picnic at Grawa Waterfall
Grawa is located in Neustift and is the broadest waterfall of the eastern alps, being 85 meters (about 280 ft) wide and dropping 180 meters (590 ft). At the bottom of the waterfall there is a wooden viewing platform with picnic tables, where you can have a nice meal while enjoying the amazing view.
Visit a local church
Independently of your religious beliefs, visiting local churches can be an interesting program if you enjoy art and architecture. Dating back to mid eighteenth century, the churches in Stubai Valley were built in Rococo style and although they may appear simple on the outside, on the inside they are furnished with frescoes and sculptures, with rich golden details. Tours of the church are part of the events calendar in summer months , however, up to date, they are only offered in german.
Save up with the Stubai Super Card
The Stubai Super Card is a discount and benefits card offered by some accommodations to their guests in a complimentary basis. With this card, the holder can have free ascends and descents at cable cars, free use of the train between Innsbruck and Fulpmes, free use of buses between Mutterberg and Innsbruck, plus discounts in rafting trips, on admission to the ice cave, parks and more. Check with your accommodation if they offer this card to their guests, but if they don’t, an alternative card may be purchased at tourist information centers and at the mountain railways. It can be used for 5 out of 7 consecutive days and is valid only in summer, for a determined period of time.
Helpful tips to make your holidays better
The nearest airport is in Innsbruck, about 20 to 45 min away by road, depending on your hotel location. Stubai can be reached by taxi, bus or train.
Although temperatures rise during the summer, evenings can get a bit chilly, so you might want to take a light jacket or sweater with you, just in case.
Most shops, including supermarkets and pharmacies close around 6 or 7 p.m. and are closed on Sundays, so if you need to purchase something, be sure to check the operating times beforehand. Some of the local churches ring their bells during nighttime as well, so if you are a light sleeper, you may want to choose accommodation at enough distance from the churches.